Will Tony Soprano get whacked? That's the question nearly everyone's asking. But some viewers are taking it further than others. "Sopranos" fans are hitting the Web, opening their wallets, and placing wagers on the mobster's fate in time for Sunday's series finale on HBO.
Offshore gambling Web sites, such as Bodog.com and BetUs.com, are offering the chance to place bets on whether James Gandolfini's character will survive after seven bloody seasons. Currently, the odds are in favor of the New Jersey gangster standing when the final credits roll.
But the overall wagers aren't too high. The maximum single bet on Bodog.com, for example, is 50 bucks.
That relatively low wage is supposed to help prevent people with insider information from betting heavily before the show airs. And it's possible that insiders know the spoilers. The final episode was filmed back in March. Who's to say that a real-life mobster acting on a tip from one of the show's teamsters couldn't be using inside information?
Plot lines of previous episodes have leaked before, but Christopher Costigan, publisher of Gambling911.com, says that producers have been doing a fairly good job of keeping the finale's outcome under wraps.
And it's not Tony Soprano's future that's at stake. The Antigua-based Bodog.com is offering five options for "The Sopranos" betting pool. Cash is being placed on whether Paulie Gualtieri (Tony Sirico) and Tony Soprano's New York counterpart, Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent), will kick the bucket.
Also in flux is whether Tony's top guy, Silvio Dante (Steve Van Zandt), will wake up from a coma following a shootout during last week's show. The Web site reads, "Silvio must verifiably wake up before the end of the June 10th episode for yes to have action. Eyes must open or words must be spoken by Sil for yes to be graded the winner."
As for the mob boss, Bodog.com notes: "Tony must be dead before the end of the June 10th episode for 'No' to be the winner."
"Of all the odds being offered by Bodog.com, the most popular are without a doubt whether or not Tony Soprano will survive the episode and 2/7 odds strongly favor that he will," wrote Bodog.com founder Calvin Ayre in an e-mail to ABCNEWS.com.
The episode's plot line can also make or break the bank. Bets can be placed on who will might get killed first: Tony or Phil?
Gamblers at BetUS.com, a site run out of Costa Rica, are currently betting that Tony will live longer than Phil. The site explained: "If both are killed, winner will be determined by whoever is killed first in the show, regardless of flashbacks or nonlinear story telling."
"The Sopranos" isn't the only series attracting gamblers. Online sites are also offering bets on various TV shows, and even celebrities.
Bodog is taking wagers on Rosie O'Donnell's replacement on ABC's "The View," currently giving 4-to-1 odds for front-runner Kathy Griffin. Also up for grabs is whether actor David Hasselhoff will enter rehab before the end of the year.
Overseas gambling sites are hoping to continue luring in people by using creative betting scenarios. Online gambling was effectively banned last October by new legislation outlawing gamblers from using credit cards and checks to place and settle bets. Since then, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has introduced a bill to make online wagering legal.